Christine O’Donnell, the Republican nominee for Delaware’s senate seat, recently released a campaign commercial that claims that she is you (i.e., Delaware voters) and that, if she were elected she would do exactly what you would do if you went to Congress.
As Jay Smooth points out, the O’Donnell commercial is an excellent example of populist rhetoric. A populist, as opposed to an elitist, believes in the “…wisdom, or virtues of the common people” (miriam-webster). When O’Donnell says that she is you, she is saying that she is just a regular person, not a political elite. Further, she is asserting that regular people are better suited to govern than those elites. Therefore, we should vote for her because there is nothing special about her that makes her fit for governance… at least nothing special that you don’t share.
Smooth says it better:Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.